J.D. Salinger put several measures in place to stop any publication of his works until long after his death. For example, “The Ocean Full Of Bowling Balls,” a story about Kenneth Caulfield (who became Allie in The Catcher In The Rye) can’t legally be published until 2060. But over the holiday weekend, a 41-page collection entitled Three Stories leaked online via sites like Imgur and Mediafire, apparently after an unauthorized edition was sold on eBay and its pages were scanned and uploaded. Various sources have since confirmed their validity. (We won’t post any direct links, but you can probably find them yourselves.)
Among those works appearing in Three Stories, “The Ocean Full Of Bowling Balls” has only been previously available to read in person, in the Princeton University Library, and then only after presenting two forms of identification and while under supervision of a librarian in a special closed-door reading room. The other two stories, “Birthday Boy,” and “Paula,” had been made available for academic study at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin.
As Salinger scholar Kenneth Slawenski said in an email to BuzzFeed, there are a lot of questionable ethics involved in posting the stories. But the intense audience desire for Salinger’s unpublished work—as seen by the reaction to the recent documentary Salinger, and its claims that several of the author's unpublished books might be forthcoming in 2015—probably made this kind of leak inevitable.
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